Rijiju expresses concern over 4.50 crore pending cases in various courts

RAIPUR, 4 Jun: Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Saturday said that the speed at which the number of pending cases is rising in various courts of the country is a matter of concern.

He also said that the increase in pending cases does not mean that matters are not being heard or disposed of; rather it is because the number of fresh cases is double than cases being settled daily.

He was addressing the inaugural function of the new office premises of the Raipur bench of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) in the central secretariat building in Nava Raipur Atal Nagar in Chattisgarh.

“When I assumed charge as law minister, there was around 4.50 crore pending cases (in various courts). That number has reached over 4.50 crore and will touch 5 crore. (However) it does not mean that cases are not being disposed of but the number of new cases is double the cases being settled. For example, if a high ourt settles 300 cases in a day, 600 fresh cases come up for hearing.

“It is needed to closely understand this. The rate of disposal of cases has increased and the effective use of technology is helping in the speedy settlement of cases. But the speed at which the number of pending cases is increasing is worrying. Business is increasing, therefore disputes are rising. If there is no business then there would be no cases. In a way, it is a positive thing, but there should be some solution to the positive development,” he said.

Rijiju also hailed the ITAT and said it reduced its pendency of cases during the coronavirus-enforced lockdowns.

Underlining that timely delivery of justice should be done, otherwise delayed justice has no value, the union minister said, “During my interaction with judges of the Supreme Court and high courts, I have told that we (his ministry) are ready to extend all support but it should be ensured that timely justice is delivered to people. There should be no distance between justice and common people.”

He said that details of pending cases will be put up online.

“(The details will include) the court in which the case is being heard and for how long, the reason for the pendency, the name of the concerned bench and lawyers. This will put pressure on judges and lawyers,” the law minister said.

Rijiju also informed that a big proposal on e-courts is in the offing.

He also emphasised the use of local languages in the court.

“I get worried. I have seen since my childhood that in our country, some people who know English think they are big, smart and knowledgeable.

“It’s good to learn English as well as other languages too. There is no loss in doing so. It has been seen in Delhi that lawyers who know good English get big cases in the Supreme Court and high court, but those who don’t know (good English), don’t get cases. This is not good. You don’t give them cases because they don’t know English. This mentality is very bad. In tribunals, there should be a provision of translation,” he said.

Union Minister of State of Law & Justice SP Baghel, Raipur Lok Sabha member Sunil Kumar Soni and ITAT president GS Pannu were present on the occasion. (PTI)